LANCASTER COUNTY, Neb.: The elderly California couple that was arrested with 60 pounds of marijuana in their vehicle last December were caught again 3 weeks later in the same state, according to The Lincoln Journal Star.
Patrick Jiron, 80, along with his 83-year-old wife Barbara Jiron, was caught just before Christmas with an estimated $300,000 worth of marijuana in their car in York County, Nebraska. Deputies searched the vehicle after smelling marijuana once they approached the vehicle.
Lt. Paul Vrbka told reporters that when questioned about the marijuana, the couple responded that the weed was Christmas presents for their friends and family. The couple said that they planned to drop off the jolly holly gifts in Massachusetts and Vermont. York County deputies also found high doses of marijuana concentrates in multiple packages during the search. The couple was arrested on several charges, including possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute. The couple was also charged for not having a Marijuana Tax Stamp on the contraband, which is required in the state of Nebraska.
Double Trouble For the Couple
The couple was arrested again on the morning of Jan. 9, this time by deputies from the Lancaster County Sheriff ‘s Department. The deputies arrested the couple heading east on the same interstate, I-80, after stopping their Toyota Tacoma around 9:45 a.m. on Tuesday morning. Deputies said that they pulled the vehicle over for following another vehicle too closely and drifting between lanes. Deputies said that "articulable suspicion was obtained that criminal activity was afoot,” according to the police report. The couple's 42-year-old daughter, Mariah Jiron, was driving the vehicle.
Deputies then asked the couple, not the driver, to search the vehicle without giving a reason, a request that was refused by the couple. The deputies then used a drug dog to sniff around the car. The dog signaled that a drug scent was present, giving deputies cause to search the vehicle where they found trace amounts of marijuana and a duffle bag with $18,000. They also found an empty bag with cannabis residue and sales receipts inside of the vehicle. The couple was promptly arrested on suspicion of possessing drug money and were taken to the Lancaster County jail for processing.
Couple Has A Prosecutor Son in Vermont
The couple's daughter was not arrested along with her parents, however, Jiron was given a warning after being detained in the back of a police cruiser. The couple also has a son, Justin Jiron, who is a prosecutor in Vermont. Jiron is the chief deputy state attorney for Chittenden County. The Attorney General of Chittenden County Sarah George said that Jiron is in no way linked to his parent's activities. Officials confirmed that they do not believe that he is involved in his parent's business. Justin Jiron was reportedly upset and surprised by the arrests of his parents and detention of his sister.
Mr. Jiron was released on $2500 bond while his wife was given a compassionate release due to an undisclosed medical condition. The couple will need to report to the York County Court on Jan. 17 for separate hearings. The Jirons also have felony charges pending for possession of marijuana with the intent to deliver from their first arrest in the state. The couple is also due to appear in Lancaster County Court next Wednesday.
Under Nebraska law, the couple could face up to 20 years in prison and up to a $25,000 fine for each felony conviction. You can find more marijuana news here.